Re: Airport Security and Ham Gear


Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 14:26:30 CST

I travel a lot. Often to dicey places. I've carried
full sized transceivers and small QRP rigs. Here are a
few observations:

1-travelling with NO RADIOS I would always get pulled
out of line when going thru Beirut Airport in 1985
(several trips) to be body searched!

2-I often carried LEAD FILM BAGS in my hand carry -- but
only at London Heagthrow and Hong Kong's old airport
were the lead bags ever opened and the contents searched
by hand.

3-The old Hong Kong Airport X-Ray machine used to have a
sign on it saying it was so strong it would destroy film-
---that cameras and film should be hand inspected.

4-Upon arriving in Damascus, Syria, (several times in
1986-87), airport officials demanded that all batteries
be removed from electronic devices and discarded at the
airport. Outbound passeengers also lost their batteries.

5-Iraqi Airlines (in 1986) banned ALL hand carry luggage-
--everything had to be checked, no exceptions!

6-Several foreign airlines in the 80's used to require
batteries be removed and discarded for all electronic
devices before boarding their planes.

7-Qantas Airlines (flying LAX-Sydney during the 2000
Olympics) made passengers on my flight put screw-
drivers, knives (no matter what blade length) and other
tools in checked-baggage before boarding, or surrender
them to be stored inflight and be retuned in Syndey.

8-The only airport I ever had to display all my radio
gear, including antenna wires, tool kit, CW key, etc.,
was Portland, Oregon, when I tried to check in for an
Alaska-bound flight and had a complete QRP station in a

9-The only airport where I ever had radio gear seized
was in NW Jamaica (the name escapes me). I did not have
a Jamaican license when I arrived. My MFJ tuner was
seized (the customs officer didn't think the 20M QRP rig
looked like a radio). It took a full day to 1)take a
bus to Kingston, 2) get a license, 3) fly back to the
airport---it was a small plane and the pilot let me sit
in the cockpit, 4) get the radio out of customs, 5)
catch a minibus back to my hotel at Ocho Rios (where I
worked about 30 Q's and five countries running 250-

10-can we please let this thread die?

Alan Kaul W6RCL e-mail:	

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